Is it worth it?

Throughout my service I ask myself one important question- “Is it worth it?”

Introducing... PINK TEAM.

Introducing… PINK TEAM.

Is my time and energy- worth investing in a particular project or ideal? All PCVs encounter that question (during their highs and lows of service- some of us dare to ask that question to ourselves daily).

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Throughout the summer, Ukraine Peace Corps. volunteers dedicate their time and their effort to make wonderful English camps available to young Ukrainians throughout Ukraine.

Its a lot of hard work.

Introducing... the yellow team "Ninja Lemons"

Introducing… the yellow team “Ninja Lemons”

And it takes months of preparation.

But is it worth it?

Costume Challenge: "Spirit Animal Day"  (this kid went on to win the "King of Camp" award)

Costume Challenge: “Spirit Animal Day”
(this kid went on to win the “King of Camp” award)

As a Peace Corps. volunteer I can tell you these kids,  made the time and preparation involved in Camp MAKE- worth it.

There are few times during my service where I have actually felt like something I have been involved in… has made a lasting difference.

But Camp MAKE allowed me to work with some very smart, articulate, and eager young Ukrainians and passionate Ukrainian counselors.

At times camp was crazy.

"Day Of The Dead" morning costume challenge

“Day Of The Dead” morning costume challenge

Continue reading

Summer Sunshine- photo SPAM

Hey everyone! Sorry guys like most Peace Corps. volunteers towards the end of service my blog has slowly been dying… 😦

Things have been super busy in a normal-crazy kind of way.
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What does that mean?

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I don’t have any thing extra-ordinary to report. Mainly for the last couple of months. I’ve simply been doing my job. Teaching my fourth forms the proper use of prepositions with a game involving four-leaf clovers. Continue reading

Love In The Mail

So March has been a pretty stressful month- I’m in the process of re-registaring which involves a lot of paperwork in a foreign language… Thankfully my counterpart has been awesome and doing a lot of additional work on my behalf- without complaint.

Have I mentioned how awesome my co-workers are?

Besides, that I’ve trying desperately to fundraise money for Camp MAKE.

Why?

Because, we are all born to make a difference and the kids of Ukraine deserve to know that.

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Thankfully it seems mail always comes to Ukraine when I need it the most to cheer me up… and I have gotten some pretty wonderful things in the mail recently. Continue reading

Moments In Ukraine- Camp MAKE

Some people have asked me for advice, on taking photographs. I’m not an expert at lighting or how to get the perfect angle by any means.

In fact, most of my favorite photos are extremely ill-lighted and topsy-turvy.

It took me a while to realize that it’s not really how the photo comes out that matters…

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It’s the memory behind it that does… Continue reading

My Crazy Valentine

Once again, I’m seriously behind on blog entries! But there’s something good about that… because, well if I’m not updating it means I’m busy in a crazyily good/insane sort of way!

I’m slowly realizing that I have less-than a year left of service (9 months to be exact!). Which is crazy… time really does fly when you’re in your second-year of service. A few other things have been going on at my site.

Many multi-cultural activities/projects.

I’ve kind of been going through a holiday kick-lately my students have learned about everything from President’s Day where we did various worksheets related to Honest Abe & good ol’ George (and changed the game Simon Says to “Obama Says“), to Valentine’s Day.

I love talking about holidays and traditions with my younger students. Why?

Because, anything out of the ordinary of our regular English lessons is really exciting for them. Last month we spent an entire week focused on Valentine’s Day-

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We learned new vocabulary… talked about holiday traditions.

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And then, made Valentines. Continue reading

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

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It’s official the holidays are over. I marked the end of the holiday season when, I ran out of the seasonal cookies and gingerbread tea my mother sent me.

As usual, I’m super busy and therefore behind on blog entries about the festivities at school, life here in Ukraine, and the 2-week vacation my school gave me.

In Ukraine, the holiday season can be rough for volunteers. Since Christmas isn’t celebrated until January, 7th (Ukrainians follow the Russian Orthodox calendar).

However, New Year is celebrated similarly to Christmas- people decorate trees, give gifts, and kids get visited by a Ukrainian version of Santa Claus.

It can still be the most wonderful time of the year! Continue reading

I’m just trying to have some fun!

So, Prague is amazing. (Minus annoying younger siblings in your traveling party…)

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But I already knew that. I went to school here:

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Thanks to AIFS! 🙂

AIFS has a great summer program in Prague that is all-inclusive. The program even has some optional weekend trips you can go on with other AIFS students, walking tours around the city, and the staff are so friendly/helpful!

Charles University- is also one of the best universities in the Czech Republic and located right in the center of Prague and about a five minute walk away from Charles Bridge. 😀

Even though, I was here six years ago. It was nice to be able to show my parents parts of the city I have grown to love.
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Crazy Praha Days

My family took a train from Krakow to Prague… and yes, we ran into my brother’s doppleganger in the Krakow station.

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(Who knew?)

My dad asked me when he was planning this trip “Kim should, we go to Prague?” and I answered “Yes.”

He followed me, with the question, “Is there anything to see there?”

To be honest, I was stumped. “…It’s really pretty.”

Give me some credit- it’s been almost 6 years since, I spent one summer studying Czech Politics in Prague. (I was an AIFS summer student at Charles University during my freshmen year of college).

All I remembered was this:

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Which was definitely worth seeing again. Continue reading

I Always Thought We Were Irish With A Weird Last Name…

The title of this post is sort of a running joke in my family… I really had no idea that we were Polish until our family had one weird conversation in our car, while we were discussing a school project I needed to do about my family’s ancestry

Busia Relatives

I’ve always had an unusual last name by American standards. Definitely not O’Donnell or Sullivan.

My Dad: Kim what did you think we were?

Me: I just always thought we were Irish with a weird last name…

My grandmother ‘Busia’ always held a special place in her heart for Poland and the Poles. The town our ancestors came from is not far from Krakow. So when we had the opportunity to visit Poland. We made sure to visit Krakow. Continue reading

Great post- a majority of our job in the Peace Corps. is cultural exchange…

And we do manage to make differences in the lives of those in our host countries, just in different ways. I took me a while to realize while, I was sent to Ukraine to teach. What I’m really here to do is learn.